|Forum topic by harriw||posted 01-21-2013 11:31 PM||5429 views||2 times favorited||6 replies|
01-21-2013 11:31 PM
I’ve been working on re-finishing our stairs for a while now, and am finally getting ready to start the new newel posts.
The original newel posts are extremely sturdy, and I don’t want to cut them off just to install something else that won’t be nearly as strong. So instead I’m planning on leaving the originals in place (they’re nothing fancy – just your typical contractor-grade posts from 1968 – 3” square at the top and bottom, and turned in the middle), and building “covers” to slide over them (oak, to match the stair treads).
What’s the generally accepted construction method for newel posts? I’m planning to make my slide-on covers out of 1/2” material (if I go much wider than that, the trim at the bottom will wind up sticking out farther than the stair treads), so they’ll be about 4” square. At that width, can I make them from solid oak and glue and/or screw directly to the original post without worrying about wood movement? Or is movement enough of an issue (even at that thickness) that I should be making frames and panels, then mitering them all together? FWIW, I’ll also be trimming the finished posts out with baseboard and/or shoe molding at the bottom, and some sort of decorative cap at the top to match the rest of the stairs and entry way.
My fall-back option is to just use 1/2” plywood, and cover the joints at the corners with corner-bead caps, or something along those lines. But I’d prefer to do this “right” and use solid lumber (or frame/panel) and miters, and make them really pop since they’re the first things you see when you walk in the front door.
Thanks a lot!
-- Bill - Western NY